A Brand New Year

scalesSo both the scales and the buttons on my clothing were telling a sorry story, so I decide to go on a diet. Again. And a week later, I had managed to put on one and a half pounds. Glum face. The problem is that the choice is between a yummy mince pie now, or being marginally thinner in a week or two’s time. And it is very hard for most of us to go for the delayed reward.

polar bear

Climate change is not just something for the future. "It's shocking how much climate change in 2019 has already led to lives lost, poor health, food insecurity and displaced populations," said Dr Joanna House, from the University of Bristol. On a day-to-day basis, the impacts of climate change play out through extreme and 'abnormal' weather. Heat waves and floods which used to be 'once in a century' events are becoming more regular occurrences. Countries ranging from the Bahamas to Japan to Mozambique suffered the effect of devastating tropical cyclones. Wildfires swept through the Arctic and Australia,

"Reducing the causes of climate change is essential to the life of faith. It is a way to love our neighbour and to steward the gift of creation."
Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

Christians believe that ‘the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it,’ (Psalm 21:1), and that God has entrusted it to us to love and care for it. It is God’s gift to everyone and we cannot think of ourselves as isolated from others or from creation. Instead we have a responsibility towards the earth and towards each other to look after it, so that both it and us can flourish.

So as we stand at the start of a brand new year, regardless of all the other very many pressures around us, let’s challenge ourselves once again to do a little more. And no, it probably won’t affect CO2 emissions in China or India, but neither should we underestimate the impact of all our ‘small efforts’ added together. If you can’t think what you can do, then check out the Church of England’s website on ‘Sustainable lifestyles’:

They suggest we think about:

transportation e.g.
walk or cycle, use public transport, telecommute
use our cars as efficiently as possible
our energy use e.g
turn your thermostat down by 1 degree (which apparently saves 10% on your bills)
don’t leave things on standby
always turn lights off when you leave a room
the food we eat
buy only what we need, use up those left overs
meat eaters - buy meat reared in the UK – better meat, even if we can afford to eat it less often, will benefit us and our farmers
eat seasonably, buy locally grown produce where possible
waste and recycling
buy second hand (did you know that 3 out of 5 garments we buy end up in landfill after a year)
reduce reuse recycle
keep cutting down on the single use plastics – take up the ‘managing without clingfilm’ challenge! There are lots more ideas on the webpage – and if you have some really good ideas, send them in to the Shelswell News so we can adopt them too! If we act today, hopefully our children’s children can be saying ‘Happy New Year’ to each other long after we’ve gone!
Alice Goodall